ROBOT MUSIC

An ongoing research project by Jacob Remin and Goto80 started in 2017. At the center of this project is robots that make music by pressing the keys of computers, synthesizers and other machines. The arms can, to the best of its abilities, mimic the movement of a human to reproduce their music. On the software side, the machines can also make its own music by learning from the human.

The robot arms are not used to make something that a human cannot do. On the contrary, the robot arms are significantly slower and less versatile compared to human hands, even though they are brand new. In that sense the project connects to the primitive man-machine dialectics of the 20th century, but also plays with ideas about future posthuman machines and artificial intelligences. It can be a state-of-the-art robot using advanced algorithmic techniques, typing on a 1982 computer with archaic software that few humans understand how to operate.

Right now the project is in a formative stage, exploring approaches such as:

  • A (bad) extension of man, where the machine copies the human as well as it can.
  • A piano player, playing solo or together with others.
  • A VJ
  • Several robots in an orchestra playing songs together
  • A visual artist that makes graphics by typing text characters.
  • A music composer that makes its own music.

“Music’s for all, but not just people”
– Beastie Boys

Developed with the generous help from RISE Interactive and Illutron.